Hurricane Ian could affect already stressed supply chain

Jamiese Price Image
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall in Florida as a major storm, which could affect what ends up on store shelves.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall in Florida as a major storm, which could affect what ends up on store shelves. Some store owners planned early, but products are still limited.

"It's been a little bit of a struggle," said Natalie Swanson who is the assistant manager of merchandising with Ace Hardware in Raleigh's Seaboard neighborhood. "It's been a couple of weeks of a process of trying to get things in, hopefully, we'll have everything that we want. But with the supply chain issue, it's hard to say."

Swanson said she's already getting calls about the supplies they do have in stock such as batteries, flashlights, tarps as well as two generators. These are supplies needed during hurricane season as families get their emergency storm kits together.

"It's been a little bit of a process, getting that stuff in, we're kind of still waiting on some other things. I've had a few calls over, like phone about certain things, we don't have all the models that we're trying to get in," Swanson said.

Big Weather's hurricane emergency kit

Industry experts said the pandemic already did a number on the supply chain leaving some products in high demand. Hurricane Ian could add to the problem.

"With a hurricane storm, trucks stay off the road, people can't go into work. And so it definitely will be some disruptions," said Robert Handfield, a Supply Chain Management Professor at North Carolina State University.

Handfield said in the case of Ian, the effect could limit the availability of certain produce.

"Hopefully it won't impact any of the crops that are being harvested, you know, the fruit, oranges, vegetables, but it could potentially, and that's the worry, I think that people have right now," Handfield said.

This latest threat to the supply chain comes after a newly released study concludes that the supply chain crisis will continue through 2023.